By Kim Glovas

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The sweltering temperatures mean the Philadelphia Water Department is monitoring increasing water usage.

The Philadelphia Water Department says it’s seen water usage go up every day since July started.

Laura Copeland, department spokeswoman, says, “The total daily consumption has increased since the beginning of July by approx 20 to 25-million gallons a day.”

Copeland explains what caused the extra usage, “We attribute some of this to hydrant abuse, where as people are illegally turning on hydrants.” And, she says that’s very dangerous, “Fire hydrants are for fighting fires. Period. To use them in any other way — other than city personnel — is just a misuse and can render that hydrant ineffective in fighting a fire.”

Copeland says turning on hydrants illegally can cause reduced water pressure, water main breaks and can also be dangerous for small children, who can be pushed right into traffic from the force of the hydrant.

But, not all the extra usage is from hydrants, “I believe it can also be attributed to using more water, whether that’s drinking more water or showering or what have you.”

She urges residents who see an open hydrant, to call the 24-hour hotline: 215-685-6300.

Reported by Kim Glovas, KYW Newsradio 1060

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